NUCLEAR ENERGY AND POWER PLANTS: AN ANALYSIS
SAURABH SINKAR BE ELECTRICAL
Abstract: This technical paper focuses on the current
scenario of use of nuclear energy in India and foreign
countries as well. Paper will also provide some working
aspects regarding nuclear power plants which leads to an
important conclusion that nuclear power is a clean source
of energy as compared to any other type of energy like
thermal or hydro. Current nuclear power plants in India
are also mentioned with their installed capacities. Nuclear
power generation also has some drawbacks like radiation
effect which is very dangerous drawback is also discussed
with latest updates. A politics behind nuclear energy is
also a main factor for opposition to power generation. In
short, paper will provide info from basic to advanced level
which will help us in deciding whether to use nuclear
energy or not.
Today, only about 8-10% power is generated with
the help of nuclear energy. Nuclear energy is the clean
source of energy. At present, nuclear energy has bright
future. Availability of power by hydro and thermal power
plants gets affected due to different factors like rainfall
deficit in case of hydro and coal deficit in case of thermal
plant. Sometimes due to low coal availability in mines
thermal power plants generation gets affected which
results in serious power shortages in particular areas. Such
problems may occur in variety of plants. Hence, it is now
very advisable to use nuclear power generation. The use of
nuclear power has many advantages:
1. The problem of transportation of conventional fuels is
avoided since the requirements of nuclear fuel for nuclear
power station is negligible in comparison with
conventional power plants.
4. These plants are non-polluting unlike coal or oil fired
power plants hence it is called as pollution free plant.
5. Performance of these plants is high. Also nuclear plants
producing power produces valuable fissile material.
Hence, due to such advantages nuclear power plants are
built in different parts of the country.
Now let us have a look on some drawbacks of nuclear
plants which may become very dangerous issue.
1. Its capital cost is high.
2. It needs trained man power.
3. A large amount of radioactive waste is produced during
power generation which is very harmful for humans and all
living beings. This waste disposal is very big issue in case of
such power plants.
4. High degree of safety is needed for the personnel
working on these plants against nuclear radiations.
5. Cost of power generation is very high.
Having brief info about advantages and drawbacks now let
us have some knowledge regarding some power plant
(A) Nuclear fuel:
Nuclear fuel is any material that can be
consumed to derive nuclear energy. The most
common type of nuclear fuel is fissile elements
that can be made to undergo nuclear fission
chain reactions in a nuclear reactor
The most common nuclear fuels are 235U and
239Pu. Not all nuclear fuels are used in fission
2. Load shading problem is avoided as in case of hydroelectric plants whose power output depending on rainfalls.
3. Large storage facilities of fuels are not needed as in case
of thermal power plant.
NUCLEAR POWER FACTS
(B) Nuclear fission:
When a neutron strikes an atom of uranium, the
uranium splits into two lighter atoms and
releases heat simultaneously.
Fission of heavy elements is an exothermic
reaction which can release large amounts of
energy both as electromagnetic radiation and as
kinetic energy of the fragments.
(c) Nuclear chain reactions:
A chain reaction refers to a process in which
neutrons released in fission produce an
additional fission in at least one further
nucleus. This nucleus in turn produces neutrons
and the process repeats. If the process is
controlled it is used for nuclear power or if
uncontrolled it is used for nuclear weapons.
The figure above shows typical layout of nuclear
power plant. There are different parts which are
required to be operated for power generation. Let us
have a short look on each part for better
(A) Nuclear reactor:
U235 + n → fission + 2 or 3 n + 200 MeV
If each neutron releases two more neutrons, then the
number of fissions doubles each generation. In that
case, in 10 generations there are 1,024 fissions and in
80 generations about 6 x 10 23 (a mole) fissions.
(D) Nuclear fusion:
Nuclear fusion is the process in which two
lighter nuclei are combined to be fused
together to form a heavier and stable
A nuclear reactor is a device in which nuclear
chain reactions are initiated, controlled, and
sustained at a steady rate, as opposed to a
nuclear bomb, in which the chain reaction occurs
in a fraction of a second and is uncontrolled
causing an exploitation.
Graphite and Beryllium are most commonly used
elements for nuclear reactors.
The materials chosen for nuclear reactors should
have good absorptivity and also good reflectivity.
Nuclear reactors are of variety of types:
(a) THERMAL REACTORS:
1. Pressurized water reactor (PWR)
2. Boiling water reactor (BWR)
3. Gas cooled reactor (GCR)
4. High temperature gas cooled reactor (HTGR)
The mass of the product nucleus formed is
always less than the sum of the masses of
the nuclei fused.
Energy released per nucleon is 6.67 Mev.
Process is possible only at high temperatures
5. Pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR)
(b) FAST BREEDER REACTORS:
1. Liquid metal fast breeder reactor (LMFBR)
2. Gas cooled fast breeder reactor (GCFBR)
(B) Control rods:
Control rods are used to control the chain
reaction by absorbing required neutrons.
These rods can be moved in and out of the
reactor core assembly either automatically or
The control rods essentially contain neutron
absorbers like, boron, cadmium or indium.
The objective of the condenser is to reduce the
turbine exhaust pressure to increase the efficiency
and to recover high quality feed water in the form of
condensate & feedback it to the steam generator
without any further treatment.
(H) Cooling towers:
Cooling towers are heat removal devices used to
transfer process waste heat to the atmosphere.
Water circulating through the condenser is taken
to the cooling tower for cooling and reuse.
(C) Steam generators:
Steam generators are heat exchangers used to
convert water into steam from heat produced in
a nuclear reactor core.
Either ordinary water or heavy water is used as
Nuclear power generation does emit relatively
low amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2). The
emissions of green house gases and therefore
the contribution of nuclear power plants to
global warming is therefore relatively little.
This technology is readily available as it does not
have to be developed first.
It is possible to generate a high amount of
electrical energy in one single plant.
The problem of radioactive waste is still an
High risks: It is technically impossible to build a
plant with 100% security.
The energy source for nuclear energy is
Uranium. Uranium is a scarce resource as its
supply is estimated to last only for the next 30 to
60 years depending on the actual demand.
Nuclear power plants as well as nuclear waste
could be preferred targets for terrorist attacks.
During the operation of nuclear power plants,
radioactive waste is produced, which in turn can
be used for the production of nuclear weapons.
Even 21 century science has no answer for
Nuclear Waste Disposal.
(D) Steam turbines:
A steam turbine is a mechanical device that
extracts thermal energy from pressurized steam,
and converts it into useful mechanical power.
Various high-performance alloys and super
alloys have been used for steam generator
(E) Coolant pumps:
The coolant pump pressurizes the coolant to
pressures of the order of 155bar.
The pressure of the coolant loop is maintained
almost constant with the help of the pump and a
(F) Feed pump:
Steam coming out of the turbine, flows through
the condenser for condensation and recirculated
for the next cycle of operation.
The feed pump circulates the condensed water
in the working fluid loop.
Condenser is a device or unit which is used to
condense vapor into liquid.
POINTS TO NOTE
A nuclear power plant analysis came towards
following conclusions which are most important
for industry point of view.
Waste contaminates (beyond scope for
inhabitation) a huge area in its vicinity for 1000’s
is fabricated at “Nuclear fuel complex”,
6. Kaiga atomic power station:
NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
Following nuclear power plant stations have
been built in India:
The sixth nuclear power station is located at
kaiga in Karnataka state. It has two units of 235
1. Tarapur atomic power station:
7. Other power plants planned:
This is India’s first nuclear power station of
capacity of 380 MW which has been built at
Tarapur situated on west coast at a distance of
about 100 km from Bombay in collaboration
with USA. It consists of two boiling water
reactors which uses enriched uranium as a fuel.
Two PWR nuclear power plants of
capacity 2000 MW have been planned at
Kundankulam and new projects of (6 * 500=
3000) MW capacity are under planning stage at
2. Rana pratap sagar atomic power station:
This is the second nuclear power plant built
in India in collaboration with Canada. It has been
commissioned at about 67 km south-west of
Kota in Rajasthan. It has 2 reactors of CANDU
type each 200 MW capacity. It was installed in
3. Kalpakkam nuclear power station:
It is built In India at 65 km away from
Madras. This is the first nuclear power plant
which has been fully designed by Indian
scientists and Engineers using indigenous
materials. It has 2 units each of capacity of 235
MW. Its first unit was installed in 1983 and the
other in 1988. It has pressurized heavy water
reactors and uses natural uranium as fuel.
BIG ISSUES AND DANGERS
Till now we have made analysis of layout and
power plants in India.
Extreme effects of nuclear energy are very
dangerous. These effects have caused number of
humans, plants and animals in last few decades.
Our discussion till now will conclude that
nuclear energy should be used all over the
world. But after considering the issues and
dangers associated with nuclear power plants it
will be much beneficial for all of us to restrict use
of nuclear energy.
Radiation emission is one of the big
problem associated with such
power plants which gets multifold
at every stage of power generation.
Radioactive waste gets Generated
at each stage - Mining, Enrichment,
Radioactive Waste generated
from Enrichment has been used
in Depleted Uranium (DU) bombs
which were used in Iraq
Waste contaminates (beyond
scope for inhabitation) a huge
area in its vicinity for 1000’s of
4. Narora nuclear power station:
This is India’s fourth nuclear power
station built at Narora in Buland shahr district of
UP. It has 2 plants each of capacity of 235 MW
with a provision for extension of its capacity up
to 500 MW.
5. Kakarpar nuclear power station:
The fifth nuclear power station is
located at Kakarpar near Surat in Gujrat. It would
have four CANDU- pressurized heavy water
reactors each of capacity of 235 MW. It is similar
in design as the reactors used at Narora. The fuel
IMPACTS OF RADIATION EMISSION:
RADIATION CONTAMINATES ALWAYS:
Even if there is NO NUCLEAR ACCIDENT
Around a Uranium Mine
Around an Enrichment Facility
Around a Nuclear Plant
Around Nuclear Waste
“Radiation Spares Nothing”
Impacts Vegetation - Agriculture
-Trees near Jaduguda Uranium Mines have DEFORMED
Nuclear ‘Meltdown’ in the USA
Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania: Happened in
1979 due to the meltdown of fuel rods.Health
effects mostly unstudied or kept clandestine
-Agricultural product is bound to carry unacceptable
amounts of radioactive content
-Radioactive Boars on the rise in Germany (thanks to
Chernobyl- the worst case ever)
Impacts Human Beings
-Human beings get impaired organs like unequal spacing in
The following pictures shows extreme effects
Impact of Nuclear Radiation
Cancer in the next 2 to 60 years
Deformed babies - FOREVER!
There are much more extreme effects than this
which can’t be told. Hence it is very dangerous
for all of us to use nuclear energy. Still India is
building more and more nuclear power plants.
Nuclear Accidents Are Worse!
Hence if we want to replace nuclear energy we
can do following remedies.
Chernobyl : An area of 1,00,000 sq km is UNINHABITABLE
for 20,000 years forever.
Use Renewable Sources
They are Cheap
They are Unlimited
They don’t Kill
We can save 30% increased demand of
electricity by 2013 by using energy efficient
electrical infrastructure at home
3. We CAN NOT sue them in Indian or Foreign
Refrigerators, ACs, Air Coolers
2. They WILL NOT pay any Compensation
Fans, Incandescent Bulbs, Tube Lights
1. Any foreign company WILL NOT be held
liable for any nuclear accidents on Indian soil,
Electric Water Heaters
Computers, TVs, DVD Players, Set-Top-Boxes
India can save 30-40% of its electricity deficit by
simple Conservation techniques
The ‘West’ is Disowning Nuclear
Most Americans are against
Continuous radiation emitted in
normal functioning of Nuclear
Improving the efficiency of existing
power plants (we are way behind
international standards at the
Nuclear Waste disposal
Threats of nuclear
Decentralizing electricity generation to
reduce long distance transmission
Australia has never built a
Nuclear Power Plant!
NUCLEAR PLANT POLITICS:
Current energy policies are designed to benefit
foreign MNCs like General electrics,
Newspapers admitted that they are here for 40
billion dollar business.
Profit for MNCs who will provide reactor designs
Commission for Indian Politicians, Intellectuals,
Why is Renewable Energy Unknown?
Giant MNCs are too strong to hide renewable
sources from entire world.
OUR GOVERNMENT’S GIFT:
Our government has signed following terms
given by foreign companies.
SO WE WANT TO SPREAD ONE IMPORTANT
Understand the politics of promoting
Nuclear Power in India
Spread awareness about this massive
safety of the computer system in this reactor but
Finland has ordered one such reactor none the
JAITAPUR POWER PLANT
After considering all dangerous issues now let us get
switch over to study of JAITAPUR POWER PLANT which is
till now in construction progress.
The cost of building the plant is about Rs. 20
crore /Mwe capacity compared with Rs. 5 crore
/Mwe for coal power station
The cost of electricity from this power plant will
be below Rs. 4 per kilowatt hour
The Jaitapur project in Ratnagiri district of
Maharashtra has been in the public eye in recent
months due to a host of controversies that
surround the project.
BRIEF ABOUT THE PROJECT:
Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project is a proposed
9900 MW power project of Nuclear Power
Corporation of India (NPCIL) at Madban village
of Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra.
If built, it would be the largest nuclear
power generating station in the world by
net electrical power rating.
On December 6, 2010 agreement was signed for
the construction of first set of two thirdgeneration European Pressurized Reactors and
the supply of nuclear fuel for 25 years in the
presence of French President Nicolas
Sarkozy and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan
JAITAPUR AS A LOACATION:
French nuclear engineering firm Areva S.A. and
Indian state-owned nuclear operator Nuclear
Power Corporation of India signed this
multibillion valued agreement of about $9.3
This is a general framework agreement along
with agreement on 'Protection of Confidentiality
of Technical Data and Information Relating to
Nuclear Power Corporation in the Peaceful Uses
of Nuclear Energy' was also signed.
Estimated cost of project is around 1000000
crore (US $ 18.2 billion)
This type of reactor is not currently operational
anywhere in the world
Though the United States Nuclear Regulatory
Commission had expressed concerns about the
This project will spread over 968 hectares of land
Jaitapur is on the Arabian Sea coast in Ratnagiri
district on the south-western part of
The district is the part of the Konkan in Western Ghats. It is
known as one of the best ports from Neolithic era.
TECHNICAL AND ECONOMICAL REASONS FOR
SELECTION OF JAITAPUR SITE:
The Site Selection Committee recommended
setting up a nuclear power plant at Jaitapur,
based on the suitability of meeting criteria
like which include availability of land vs.
population density, available source of cooling
water , seismicity, safe-grade elevation at site
(flood analysis etc), environment aspects and
proper access for transportation of heavy/overdimensional equipment to plant site.
The Jaitapur site is not considered earthquakeprone. As per seismic zoning map of
Government of India, Jaitapur site falls within
zone III. The longitude and latitude of the land
covered for Jaitapur nuclear power project are
These are third generation pressurized water
The proposed Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project is
located at the west coast with an average
elevation of 90 feet
It is purposed to construct 6 European
pressurized reactors designed and developed by
Areva of France each of 1650 megawatts thus
totalling to 9900 megawatts
India is poised to go largely for peaceful use of
nuclear energy in generating electricity, which
resulted in the waiver from Nuclear Supplier
Group, enabling India to have nuclear trade
Latitude of JNPP site: 16° 34’ 38” N to 16° 36’ 29”
India, thus, aims at increasing the share of
nuclear energy to reach from the present 4120
MWe to 23000 MWe by the end of XIIth National
The electricity generated by Jaitapur Nuclear
Power Park (JNPP) will be supplied to the
beneficiary states in westerns region with
possibility of inter regional transfer.
Longitude of JNPP site: 73° 19’ 02” E to 73° 20’
NPCIL intends to establish a Nuclear Power Park
by installing 6x1650 MWe PWR category NPPs at
this location in a phased manner
Required land is available for establishing the
NPP and the residential complex at Jaitapur.
land being acquired for JNPP (site and residential
complex) admeasuring around 938.026 ha is
rocky with poor fertility and barren with small
patches of agriculture.
IMPORTANCE TO REGION AND COUNTRY:
There is no physical displacement of any family
from the proposed land being acquired for the
project (site and residential complex).
The project site is far away from urban area.
The population density on land within 10 km
around the site is estimated to be about 150
persons / sq. km considering approx.
The radio-nuclides generated from nuclear
power plants are handled, processed and
disposed off carefully within the limits, which are
specified by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board
(AERB) of India.
Nuclear power in India has been established to
be safe, reliable, clean & environment friendly
and economically compatible with other sources
of power generation of the NPP units in India.
Much needed electricity with minimal
environmental impact and with comparable cost
of electricity generation.
Abundant sea water is available for Condenser
Cooling and desalination plant.
Power plants do not generate conventional
The land is non forest and is privately owned.
50% of the area falling into sea
The average elevation of the site is about RL
+24.5 m above mean sea level while the safe
grade elevation is +7.0 m with respect to Chart
Datum (as per the study of CWPRC, Pune
NEED FOR THIS PROJECT:
Nuclear power is green and clean source of
The Jaitapur is located in a seismically sensitive
It comes under Zone IV as per the earthquake
hazard zoning of India.
This zone is called the High Damage Risk Zone.
very much necessary for India to complement
the electricity production in the country which is
mostly by thermal power plants (with 63.95%
According to Greenpeace, “Over the past 20
years alone, there have been three earthquakes
in Jaitapur exceeding 5 points on the Richter
The present share of nuclear power in total
generation of electricity in the country is only
2.83% as on 31st July 2008
The Konkan region’s rich natural resources are
already under severe threat on account of
several “development” projects along the
Water discharged from the plant will be 5 °C
hotter than the ambient sea temperature. But
“even a 0.5 °C of continual thermal stress will
lead to mortality of marine species.”
On December 4, 2010, protests became violent
when over 1500 people were detained from
among thousands of protesters, who included
environmentalists and local villagers.
The BNHS has also mapped 407 hectares of
mangrove vegetation around a 10 km-radius of
the nuclear plant.
Members and leaders of the Konkan Bachao
Samiti (KBS) and the Janahit Seva Samiti were
On April 18, 2011, one man was shot and killed
by police and eight were injured after protests
According to the Earthquake hazard zoning of
India, Jaitapur comes under Zone III. This zone is
called the moderate Risk Zone and covers areas
liable to MSK VIII
The presence of two major creeks on the
proposed site has been ignored while clearing
Moreover jaitapur is located on plateau
probability of tsunami reaching jaitapur is quite
It is not clear where the nuclear
waste emanating from the site will be dumped.
The plant is estimated to generate 300 tonnes of
waste each year.
Government of India is not fully transparent with
its own citizens
the government also manipulating notification of
the area from high severity earthquake zone to
moderate seismic severity zone
Many protests have been carried out by local
people against the proposed nuclear power
plant. On 29 December 2009, 12 January 2010,
and 22 January 2010.
When the government authorities visited
Madban for distribution of cheques in lieu of
compulsory land acquisition, the villagers
refused to accept the cheques.
Government officials were shown black flags,
denied any co-operation in carrying out their
activities. 72 people were arrested on 22 January
2010 when people protested against the
compulsory land acquisition.
France in talks with India on nuclear law
implications, Oct 29, 2013
Jaitapur: Govt promises speedy payment of
compensation, Sep 7, 2013
Committed to Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project,
India tells France, January 10, 2013
Pune man files PIL against nuke project, January
State needs N-plant to meet power demand,
says CM, Dec 2, 2011
Public court's 'verdict' on nuke plant in August,
May 22, 2011
Jaitapur protests intensify, policemen injured in
stone-pelting, Apr 18, 2011
Govt to review safety at nuclear plants, March
Fukushima gives boost to nay-sayers in Jaitapur,
Mar 24, 2011
Jaitapur to be a reality: CM, Dec 15, 2010
From entire discussion of jaitapur power
plant we conclude as follows:
Most decision makers and investors talk
about sustainability and corporate social
responsibility, yet the entire nuclear cycle
blatantly contradicts this. Radioactive
contamination routinely occurs throughout
the fuel chain, from uranium mining to
processing, reactor operation to the
management of nuclear waste.
A severe accident of a typical pressurized
water nuclear reactor, due to technical or
human failure, could affect many millions of
people, causing tens of thousands of victims
and forcing the evacuation of areas as large
The nuclear industry has spent the past
decade trying to convince the public and
decision makers that, despite its downsides,
nuclear power is needed to tackle the
climate crisis. The industry promised to
have learned from past disasters, and that it
would offer a clean, safe, cheap and reliable
source of energy. None of these claims is
The 2010 International Energy Agency (IEA)
energy scenario clearly shows that, even if
the world were to build 1,300 new reactors
and quadruple nuclear power generation by
2050, greenhouse gas emissions would be
reduced by less than 4%. Given the long
planning and construction schedules
required, this would come far too late to
meet the imperative to significantly decline
greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and thus
prevent climate chaos.
In addition, implementing the IEA scenario
would require $10 trillion US dollars for
reactor construction, massively increase the
amount of nuclear waste that we and
future generations will have to deal with,
and create enormous proliferation hazards.
A single reactor typically produces several
hundred kilograms of plutonium every year
– an amount sufficient for dozens of nuclear
of nuclear weapons.
The authors gratefully acknowledge
Brainwaves committee for giving golden
opportunity to present our views on nuclear
 Nuclear reactor engineering-reactor
 Power plant engineering- P Nag
 Power plant engineering- R k Rajput